Monika aims to give Indian Weightlifting a lift at Beijing

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New Delhi, Aug 1 (UNI) For the last few years, Indian weightlifting has seen a shocking decline, dogged by doping scandals and suspension from international competition after constantly failing drug tests.

All eyes are now on Monika Devi- India's sole weightlifter at the Beijing olympics -to overcome the cynicism.

''The preparation is going on very well. It is my aim to get an olympic medal,'' Monika said.

Monika herself has won her ticket after much controversy, a bizarre selection row with allegations of bribery derailed preparations before she could book her place.

''Whatever is happening is happening outside the training centre. Here we concentrate on their training, diet and rest,'' says her coach, Shyamala Shetty.

Monika's stature has rapidly grown in the sport. She won the silver medal in the women's 69 kg category at the Commonwealth Games and a silver and two bronzes at the Asian Championships in Japan.

''Now she is improving and we are expecting her to win,'' Shetty said.

However, Monika's combined total of 227 kg in training is way off the Olympic record and she'll have to break new ground to challenge for a medal.

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